Ukrainian basketball player at Grand Canyon Univ. tries to keep in touch with family amid Russian invasion

Grand Canyon University basketball player and Ukrainian native Dima Zdor is sharing his story, as he follows the latest development in Russia's invasion of the country, and tries to stay in communication with his family from afar.

Needless to say, it has been an extremely tough and emotional time for Zdor, a 21-year-old who has to practice his basketball skills, while working on his school work and worrying about his family's safety, as well as the safety of the rest of Ukraine.

"Super sad. It is just tough to see what is going on," said Zdor.

Zdor, a forward on GCU's basketball team, moved to the U.S. alone when he was 14 to pursue an education, as well as a basketball career. He goes back to Ukraine every summer, to his hometown in Yalta, a seaside town in the country's south.

"It is so mentally relaxing there. The country is so beautiful itself. Swim in a lake, the mountains, hanging out with friend," said Zdor.

Now, Zdor is watching his country get torn apart by the Russian invasion. He says the scariest part is not knowing how his family is doing.

"Since the power went out, it is a little tougher right now because it is a matter of charging their phones. It becomes tougher and tougher," said Zdor.

Zdor says luckily his parents are not in the area of combat right now, but that is not the case for his grandparents, aunts and uncles.

"We have a strong nation. We have a patriotic people. We know what they fight for, they are not selfish," said Zdor.

Zdor says all he can do is follow the news closely, and try and get in touch with his family. He says he has been so proud of his fellow countrymen, as they fight for what they believe is right.

"I just want people to know that we want to be a free nation," said Zdor. "It is a luxury to be free, to have the ability to wake up and go vote and be with your family and work, and a lot of people don't understand it."

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